Photographer, Joanna Eberhart, moves to the neighborhood of Stepford with her husband and two daughters. What is up with the women of Stepford, who seem almost too perfect to be real? The book on which this film was based was written by Ira Levin, the author of Rosemary’s Baby.
Even if this film is over 30 years old (we’re going to ignore the 2004 remake), you could apply the domestic harmony / perfection thing to the modern era because even now people are always on the lookout for financial and domestic perfection. Men want a perfect wife. Things never change.
Tension builds subtly throughout the film. You know something isn’t right, but have to endure the sight of these perfectly turned out women who are always immaculate and have faultless domestic skills. They will do anything to please their husbands. The way the story unfolds is spine-tingling but expected I suppose.
That being said, sometimes the film comes across as being slightly clumsy in its script. It also seems to convenient that Joanna had an ex-lover who was a pharmacist who could test the Stepford water. The last 3/4 of the film was somewhat predictable, though. It at one point seemed to be turning out like a 1970s slasher.
All in all, an interesting take on domesticity and its perils. A good enough film that left many unanswered questions at the end. I don’t think I would have missed out massively if I didn’t watch the film, though. A good film to analyze for feminist film theory.
MY RATING: **.5 / *****